We’ve all been through that stage of motherhood when we feel like we are barely surviving. Guilt is around every corner. We feel like we’re not enough or we’re not doing enough. At the same time, we’re yelling too much and neglecting ourselves too much.
We have shifted way out of balance, and we grasp at anything to try to regain our equilibrium. When we feel like we’re not enough, we try to fill ourselves up. So we add things to our plate. Things like:
- Do more yoga
- Exercise more
- Play with your kid more
- Have more moms’ nights out
- Shower more
- Volunteer at your child’s school more
- Do more crafts
- Read more self-help books
- Read more parenting blogs
- Drink more water
- Eat more healthy foods
- Be more affectionate with your spouse
- Have more sex
- Clean your house more
- Read more inspiring quotes
- Journal more
More, more, more. It’s no wonder that we’re exhausted!
Logic tells us that adding to ourselves will fill us up. It tells us we can feel nourished if we just add the right things, but our souls tell us that it’s not working.
Instead of doing all of these things in an attempt to satiate ourselves, we just have one thing to do, that’s to show up. If all we do is show up for life, that’s enough.
What is showing up for life?
Showing up is simply opening up all of your sensations to feel, observe, and connect with your life. These sensations include your physical senses of touch, sound, taste, smell, and sight. They also include the more ethereal senses of imagination, creativity, intuition, awareness, and even fear.
There’s no judgment with showing up. There’s no draining mental analysis. There’s just the turning on of every cell to allow yourself to receive. Showing up is accepting yourself as you are and embodying your true self as you move through the world. This includes embracing your light and your shadows.
When you’re honest with yourself and with others about who you really are, you incorporate the practices, the connections, and the nourishment that can fulfill all of your needs – even the ones that you judge as negative.
When you hide away the parts that you don’t want to see – the foggy, angry, shame-filled parts –you numb huge areas of yourself. Yet those shadow bits still present themselves to your subconscious and affect every part of your life. So you take on more numbing tasks to try to push it all down. You stop showing up in an attempt to ignore, and this is exhausting.
Four ways showing up fulfills you without exhausting you
1 | There is no perfection
When you set the intention to simply show up, it’s like an experiment. An experiment cannot fail, it can simply result in observation and the gathering of data. You don’t know what the outcome will be, and you have no expectations. You focus on the experience instead of the result, and there is no failure in experience. Therefore, you let go of the need to control.
2 | You see your purpose
When you cover parts of yourself with all of that doing, you’re at the whim of everything that goes on around you. You look outside yourself for answers, but you never actually reach a solution.
When you show up with the intention to use all of your senses, you receive input from the universe. You connect with the world with your physical body and your energy. When you do this, you can see your place in the world. Life feels purposeful even though you’re not actually doing all of those things that you used to add to your plate.
3 | You make meaningful connections
Trying to make friends as a mother can be frustrating. Although you want to do more than just talk about diapering and infant sleep, you have no idea how to have a different conversation.
You’ve lost the connection with yourself because you’ve stopped turning on your sensations. You’ve lost the ability to connect with the world because you don’t allow it to affect you. So how can you expect to connect with others?
When you start showing up to life, for yourself and as yourself, you effortlessly connect with other people too.
4 | The guilt goes away
Most mothers can’t help but feel guilty. They feel like there is always something they should be doing that they just can’t get to for one reason or another. They feel like they are not doing enough.
When you show up, you realize that you are enough. Showing up is all you can do.
When you choose to participate in the activities in life for which you really can show up, you no longer feel guilty for not doing the things that you knew you weren’t going to show up for anyway. In other words, you no longer need to go through the motions. Everything that you do is fulfilling, so why bother with the other stuff?
If there’s any time to take things off your plate, to do less, and to feel more, it’s right now. This is the way out of survival mode. This is the path to thriving. Do less, be more. Just show up.